BCHL playoff picture ever-changing

This Friday’s (Jan. 21) B.C. Hockey League game against Cowichan Valley Capitals is a must-win for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, who hold a slim three-point lead over the Caps for sixth place in the Coastal Conference playoffs.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ Trent Dorais beats Cowichan Valley Capitals goalie Derek Dun on his glove side during the second period of the Bulldogs’ 5-3 win Saturday

This Friday’s (Jan. 21) B.C. Hockey League game against Cowichan Valley Capitals is a must-win for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, who hold a slim three-point lead over the Caps for sixth place in the Coastal Conference playoffs.

On paper, their chances look good: the Bulldogs have beaten Cowichan six out of seven games this season, including a 5-2 win last Saturday at Weyerhaeuser Arena.

But the Bulldogs haven’t been consistent on the road lately, and they need to win when they don’t have home ice advantage.

“That’s our Achilles heel right now,” assistant coach Kevin Hasselberg said.

“Our team’s been very inconsistent when you look at effort. That particular day (Saturday’s win) we were playing well with four lines,” he said.“We were winning puck battles. There wasn’t a fluke about it; that’s the way that we play when we’re winning games.”

The top 7 teams of each conference earn berths in the playoffs.

Powell River Kings lead the Coastal Conference with 73 points as of Jan. 19, followed by Langley Chiefs in second place (58 points), Surrey Eagles in third (57 points), Victoria Grizzlies in fourth (53 points), Nanaimo Clippers in fifth (48 points), the Bulldogs in sixth (45 points), Cowichan Valley in seventh (42 points) and Coquitlam Express in eighth (40 points).

The Bulldogs play four teams from their own conference in their next four games, including the Capitals (away Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m.), Surrey Eagles (home Saturday, Jan. 22, 7 p.m.), Nanaimo (home Tuesday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m.) and Victoria (home Friday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m.). Hasselberg hopes solid offence and more disciplined hockey will put the Bulldogs in the win column during this stretch.

Against the Eagles “they’re a very highly skilled offensive hockey team,” he said.

“We’re going to have to shut down their offensive players and not put too much pressure on our goaltender.”

That’s exactly what happened against Nanaimo Clippers in a road game Jan. 14, when goalie Frank Slubowski was the game’s first star despite the Clippers winning 2-1.

Not only did Slubowski stop 44 of 46 shots in the game, but he stopped many of them while the Bulldogs were shorthanded.

“We took way too many undisciplined penalties,” Hasselberg said. “As long as we’re staying out of the penalty box we’re giving ourselves a chance to win.”

The Bulldogs are looking to edge on the Clippers in the Battle for the Hammer. Right now the Clippers are ahead 5-3.

ICE CHIPS…Can’t get to the games? Listen to the play-by-play with Evan (Hammer) Hammond at 93.3 PEAK FM.


Just Posted

Mount Arrowsmith skaters bring Beatlemania to Port Alberni

Biennial winter carnival showcases Port Alberni skaters

Portal Players Looking for love onstage in Port Alberni

Newcomers bring fun Norm Foster play to life for short run

Alberni boys win 20th consecutive Island Wrestling Championships

Alberni District Secondary School boys finished with 69 points

Juno-nominated Indigenous hip-hop duo to play in Port Alberni

Snotty Nose Rez Kids will be at the Kingsway Pub on Saturday, Feb. 23

Coldest Night of the Year event brings attention to plight of the homeless

Port Alberni teams prepare to walk one of three routes and raise funds too

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read